As an owner of many SUV's, I feel qualified to provide a helpful review. I was worried about 4 cyl., but so far its pep has been a pleasant surprise.
It has plenty of zip to merge safely onto freeways; it maintains 70 MPH with ease up steep grades. As a trade off, the tranny is noisy through first 3 gears. It makes an odd noise if you jump on the throttle from a stop. Once at cruise it is quiet.
The front seats are awesome...don't know how Ford did it, but feels like the seats have their own suspension.
Fuel economy is great...almost 30MPG on freeway.
The Sync system is best built-in voice command system I have tried...and I have used many. It does have a few quirks...mentioned bellow
I have wanted an Escape for several years but never pulled the trigger because of the reviews. This year I decided to look at them again. I get a new vehicle for business yearly so I have had much experience with the competition.
For $50K you do not get real leather in a Touareg. A $35K Wrangler is the real deal but rides harsh with bad road manners and the backseat is just for looks. The Nissan's are too old school and pricey. Hyundai's are no longer cheap or full efficient.
I looked at everything in the SUV market from $20-$60K and everything bad I read about the Escape is worse in cars costing much more. The 2011 has a great interior and the Limited has everything you could ask for.
Had a great experience at Grappone Ford. I had a 2005 ford escape and decided to trade it in. After driving the 2011 Escape with the new inline 4 engine, I was amazed. I truely love driving this vehicle. So reliable a vehicle, I recommend it to anyone looking for a great ride in comfort.
I'm working in automotive industry as engineer for the last 30 years. I bought this new 2011 Escape in Canada for my wife as she liked it during the driving test. I wouldn't buy it for myself. The car is noisy, a combination of engine, exhaust and poor sound insulation. I also knew from customer reviews that transmission for the 4 cyl engine is a concern. From day one, an average 4 times per week the transmission STRONGLY jerks when I reduce the speed below 25 miles per hour or shift in reverse at start. Canadian dealer tried to fix it without any luck, now living in US the Americans tried as well, they just gave up saying by loading the latest shift software there is nothing else to do.
We love our 2011 Ford Escape as, in our opinion, it hammers the competition and it is a valued asset in our family. The pathetic competition, the 2008 Jeep Patriot does even come close to the reliability, power, style, reputation and perks of a comfortable Ford. The Escape will not hurt pocketbooks; it is reasonably priced and I would recommend people trying to get a better deal through the employee pricing campaign. Money well spent, the Ford Escape. It made a former unhappy owner of the Jeep elated when we slid into a 2011 Ford. The competition will be full of jealousies as Ford is known to give many the "wow factor" in an winner vehicle.